COP 28: Day two recap


After a relatively calm first day, things really shifted into gear yesterday. The second day of COP28 saw world leaders descend on the conference for the first day of the “World Climate Action Summit”. Opening the event, King Charles delivered a clear call to action: “As we work towards a zero carbon future we must work equally towards being nature positive.”

President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinpin’s absence was duly noted. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivered stark words to national leaders. The UAE Presidency made another big finance announcement – pledging $30 billion on Friday to help the Global South with the clean energy transition and other climate projects – signaling its hope that these early climate financing pledges will keep up momentum. And Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva vowed to make Brazil “a role model” in the effort to reduce emissions and slow the pace of climate change as the country prepares to host COP30 in 2025. He also said that Brazil is on track to achieve its zero deforestation goal by 2030.

Within the Blue Zone, the Nature Positive Pavilion hosted its first full day of programming, which was capped off with an opening reception.


More details emerged yesterday about the creation of a new fund by Brazil to support forest conservation. The news was teased going into the COP, and Brazil’s Environment Minister, Marina Silva, shared more information last night at side events in the Blue Zone. The proposed Tropical Forests Forever Fund could open up a wave of new opportunities for financing NbS. Here are some early insights on the proposal, with more detailed analysis to come:

  • Brazil is proposing a global Tropical Forests Forever Fund, an initiative that would recognise and provide financial support for forests to preserve their benefits for people and the planet based on more than just carbon sequestration with a goal of raising US$250 Billion in funds.
  • To be eligible to receive funds, tropical forest countries would need to keep deforestation rates below a set threshold or show that deforestation rates are decreasing. 
  • Each country would determine their own monitoring process, but the fund would require a high-level of transparency and would face high penalties for failure to meet targets.  should be transparent about it 
  • Initially, the proposed fund would rely on sovereign funds, but the announcement noted there was a potential goal of including private sector financing later on.  



  • During the World Climate Action Summit on Friday, UAE environment and climate change minister Mariam Almheiri announced the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action. Some 134 countries signed the agreement at the time of the announcement. The declaration included a recognition of the impacts that the agricultural sector is already experiencing due to climate change and an intention to integrate food systems into national climate plans (called “nationally determined contributions” or NDCs) and other national strategies before COP30 in Brazil
  • Separately, the Climate Champions announced that over 150 non-state actors have signed a Call to Action calling for transformation of food systems for people, nature and climate. (We’ll be writing a short article on Food at COP in an upcoming issue
  • The World Economic Forum, with support from the Government of the United Arab Emirates, along with more than 20 corporate and research partners in the food sector, launched today the First Movers Coalition for Food. The new initiative aims to accelerate sustainable farming and production methods and technologies by leveraging collective demand for low-carbon agricultural commodities. It will do so through the power of aggregated demand, aiming for a combined procurement value for low-carbon commodities of $10-$20 billion from coalition members. Corporate partners currently participating in the coalition account for a combined revenue of $2.1 trillion, with operations globally.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a partnership with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) “to accelerate the development of innovations that will help smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia build resilience and adapt to climate change.” Together, they made new commitments totaling US$200 million in response to immediate and long-term threats to food security and nutrition caused by climate change.
  • Cattle Transparency in Brazil: The Government of Pará launched via executive decree, its statewide Cattle Integrity and Development Program, after consultation with 14 different institutions representing the government, producers and industry associations, and civil society. The program unites diverse stakeholders and different public and private sector pilots, initiatives, and approaches under a common vision for Pará´s growth, aligned to the state´s 2030 Amazon Now Carbon Neutral strategy. To make it compulsory for individual cattle producer traceability by 2026 to cut down on deforestation, producer compliance and market inclusion, increased productivity and improved pastures. This robust intent and determination coming from within Brazil is being met enthusiastically with early impact funding to overcome the initial resource constraints for rapid deployment and scaling across the entire jurisdiction, making its launch a decisive milestone in realigning food systems in Brazil on the path to COP30 in Belém do Para. 


  •  The Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group) announced that it is planning to triple direct and mobilized climate financing for Latin America and the Caribbean to $150 billion over the next decade with the support of its member countries. The announcement specifically called out the Amazon: “The Amazon is a critical part of the IDB Group’s action on climate and biodiversity. Amazonia Forever is the institution’s holistic umbrella program that aims to protect this region’s natural wealth and accelerate its sustainable development. The IDB Group is committing up to $5 billion in additional financing for the Amazon over the next 10 years for sustainable development projects, leveraging partnerships and funding from countries and other stakeholders.”


  • Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and Carbon Tanzania announced that they will partner for the largest land-based carbon initiative in East Africa. 1.8 million hectares of designated national parks will be covered in the proposed carbon project.The collaboration will enable the creation of an internationally recognised carbon project – paving the way for sustainable conservation efforts. Read more in the BBC here. 

Debt for Nature: 

  • According to exclusive reporting by Reuters, the world’s top multilateral development banks are set to launch a global “task force” at COP28 to scale up the number and size of ‘debt-for-nature’ swaps that countries can do.

EXPLAINER: Debt-for-Nature Swaps

What is a debt-for-nature swap? A debt-for-nature swap enables a country to refinance its debt under more favorable terms, and allocate the proceeds toward biodiversity protection and climate adaptation. The mechanism has been around since the 1980s, but is gaining more traction and attention, thanks in part to the Bridgetown Initiative

What are some examples? 

  • Belize: In 2021, Belize was able to lower its debt in exchange for committing to designate 30% of its marine areas as protected areas and to spend $US4 million a year for the next two decades on marine conservation under a complex debt-for-nature swap.
  • Barbados: In 2022, a debt-for-nature swap involving The Nature Conservancy and the Inter-American Development Bank enabled the Barbadian government to convert $150 million worth of debt, again in exchange for a commitment to conserve approximately 30% of its maritime territory. 
  • Ecuador: This year, Ecuador sealed the world’s largest “debt-for-nature” swap, selling a new “blue bond” that will funnel at least $12 million a year into conservation of the Galapagos Islands, one of the world’s most precious ecosystems.

What’s Next? According to TNC: “The good news is that the institutional architecture needed to pursue debt-for-nature swaps at scale and with more actors is already largely in place. What is needed now is shareholder will and executive action to boost development-finance institutions’ capacity to provide guarantees for sovereign-debt issuance linked to climate and nature investments.” We’re hoping to see progress on this front in Dubai. Read more here